Even though payroll is the largest expense for organizations, it’s impact on the business is more than being a cost center.
Workforce expenditures play a role in shaping business initiatives, from selecting a location of operations to determining areas to fund additional staffing. In other words, payroll provides insights that shape company growth—but only when leaders utilize technology that transforms payroll from a transactional practice to a strategic function.
In this interview, Cristina Goldt, Workday’s general manager of workforce and pay for products developed for the office of the CHRO, and David Hudson, Workday’s vice president of product management for Workday’s payroll products, expound on the need for organizations to rethink their global payroll strategy and explain what organizations need to make the shift.
In a recent IDC report, “Worldwide Human Capital Management and Payroll Applications Software Market Shares, 2022,” (doc #US49130523, June 2023) Workday was ranked #1 for 2022 market share and for combined human capital management (HCM) and payroll applications software. What do you think that recognition highlights?
Goldt: Payroll is a business-critical function, meaning you have to get it right. But we’re also seeing a trend that it’s evolving to explore how we allow payroll teams to do things that are more high value, instead of just the tactical parts of payroll, which you have to do. Because Workday is a combined HCM and payroll solution, we provide that lower total cost of ownership in that organizations are not having to integrate to payroll. A single payroll provider—and even some of those that sell payroll and HCM—are not actually on the same platform. And so we’re able to offer a solution where HR [human resources] data—such as compensation, benefits, and workforce management data—flows back and forth between payroll and HCM systems, making our platform much more dynamic compared to others. When HR data isn’t accessible to payroll through a single system, that can lead to errors, delays, and retroactive payroll because important info didn’t make it into payroll.
Hudson: I think it’s about seeing the end-to-end connection and realizing that payroll isn’t this island on its own. It’s this huge piece of so much else that goes on within a company. We like to say all roads lead to payroll, and that’s certainly true when you think of the data that goes into it. And I think what Workday helps provide and enable is that full end-to-end experience. It’s not just, “Oh, well, here’s my payroll over here, and my time over here, and HR over here, and finances way over there.” It’s understanding the entire end-to-end journey, the interrelationships there, and how that fuels how the process and how the system should work for companies as they continue to evolve.